We've all made embarrassing mistakes in text messages, whether on our own or through the device's autocorrect feature. An Apple patent filing envisions a way to fix those mistakes before anyone else sees them.
Published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent application named "Transient Panel Enabling Message Correction Capabilities Prior to Data Submission" outlines a technology that would give you a chance to correct any mistakes before the message is actually on its way.
As Apple acknowledges in the patent filing, autocorrect is a handy feature but it's hardly perfect. Though it's designed to help you type your message by predicting your words, autocorrect has a tendency to predict the wrong word at times. Further, typos you make yourself can often escape your attention, especially if you're in a rush to send out that text.
Via Apple's invention, you'd be able to review and make last-minute corrections to a text after you hit the Send button but just before the message is actually sent. After you send your text, you'd have a moment to fix any errors; otherwise the message goes out as is. That moment would be quick so as not to delay the back-and-forth exchange between you and your fellow texter.
As Apple describes it in the usual patentese:
A programmable device such as a smartphone allows a user an opportunity to make final corrections to textual data in a message after the user has instructed the device to send the message, but before transmittal of the message. The opportunity is temporary, to avoid impeding the flow of communication, and the textual data is transmitted unmodified if the opportunity to modify it is not accepted. Modifications made during the opportunity period may be used to adapt an autocorrect functionality of the programmable device.
As always, a patent filing doesn't necessarily mean the technology will ever hit the real world. But here's hoping this one does.